Riverton City sees a decrease in budget with contract changes
As cities across the region add fees and increased costs to government budgets, Riverton City is finding ways to cut back.
For the fiscal year 2012 to 2013, Riverton’s budget has dropped by roughly $2 million in relation to the approved budget for last year, a feat made possible by recent city contract changed.
The approved general budget for this year totaled out at $8,415,675, compared to $10, 81,729 in 2011.
According to Riverton Mayor Bill Applegarth, the biggest change impacting the total of the budget is the transition in police services earlier this year. Instead of simply contracting with Salt Lake County’s Unified Police Department, Riverton became a part of the UPD, leading to a change in fees and payment. Instead of funding services through Riverton City’s general fund, services are paid for by residents through the Salt Lake Valley Law Enforcement Service Area.
Basically speaking, Riverton residents received an increase in their county property tax rate to .00190, approximately $143.64 for the average property owner.
To offset costs placed on residents, Riverton City chose to remove municipal property taxes, as well as removing monthly utility fees for street lighting, and reducing citizen sanitation fees to $1 for normal sanitation.
This decision removed the budget amount for police services formerly borne by the city, while still offsetting costs for residents, and allowing better police coverage at a lower rate.
Another change offsetting the budget total is the recent transition to Salt Lake County animal control services. Though the contract is at a higher cost than running city facilities, with the updates needed to meet regulations, the city saved the estimated $2 million that would have been needed to construct a new, up-to-code facility. Also, by contracting through the county, Riverton no longer has to carry the costs associated with facility maintenance and animal services and licensing.
In regard to the total general fund budget, Applegarth stressed that the goal of city officials was to avoid placing extra financial burdens on the residents.
“There is no increase in our cost for the citizens that live in Riverton City … other [cities] have had to increase, but we have not had to do that this year,” Applegarth said.
With a focus on providing quality services without excessive cost, Riverton has funded current building plans such as the Public Works building out of savings and additional funds, without adding unduly to the updated budget.
One of the slight increases from previous year budget totals is an increase of funding for employee education, up to $7,500 from $2,328 in last year’s budget. Employee wages also received a slight increase.
Anyone wishing to view the current Riverton City budget can access it from the Riverton City website. It is also available in printed form in the Finance Department and Recorder’s Office at the Riverton City Hall.